Findings from the latest quarterly report reveal that despite extremely difficult trading conditions the South West businesses polled were among the most positive in the country when looking at their future revenue projections. And fully 40 per cent of them expect to grow rapidly in the next 12 months.
In another positive finding, although 18 per cent of SMEs in the report said they had decreased staff numbers in the South West, a perhaps surprising 15 per cent had actually increased their numbers. This meant the South West had the slowest rate of overall SME employment decline of those polled in the English regions. Despite those seeds of optimism, however, the figures – based on the third quarter July-September - shows that confidence as a whole is still falling among SMEs in both the South West and the wider country.